irony: the prevailing wind of the nineties.
figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed
by the words used
ridicule in which laudatory expressions
are used to imply condemnation or contempt
course of events, the result of which is the direct
opposite of what might have been intended as though due to the
fate, as in life's ironies
ridicule condemnation contempt malice
perhaps some people saw what this was doing to friendship, and to
their relations with the people around them - for if you give out nothing real,
nothing but wit and irony, people laugh and are entertained, but they are afraid
of you. maybe somehow we all became afraid of each other?
and it became
hard to deal with anything real. something bad would happen, someone would fall
off the train, and nobody would know what to say or do so they'd shrug, and
move on, leaving the fallen ones without a hand
to pull them back up
once there were communities, linked by shared struggles. the failed
crop, the pit closure. blessed be the ties that bind our kindred hearts in
twain and those ties were strong, we looked out for each other. the mad
lady in the street, drifting in her nighty, would have been stopped and given a
coat or a blanket, a cup of tea, an arm around her. and maybe somewhere there
are tiny pockets of the world where this still happens:
but not here.
here, in the cities, you go it alone.
and people get lonely but they can't seem to mend it: too tired,
and too afraid, because confidence comes from connection. in high school or
college, so many people around you that even on the edge of things you're still
a part of it - maybe you made your own part, there are communities within
but somehow, as adults, we lose that.
we don't work where
we live any more, most of us.
there is a diaspora every day, a random
movement of particles at daybreak spreading out in brownian motion all trails
of smoke and no substance, and you can live in a room right next door to someone
and never speak, never want to. all sentiment looks sentimental, built-in
obsolescence is the order of the day, nobody mends anything any more.
is our sickness:
sometimes it feels fatal.
but the machines are
saving us, or maybe we're saving the machines. spun out helplessly every day
alone to land in front of little boxes, plastic and metal and silicon -
ostensibly tools of the market forces that tore us all apart and stole our time
- we are using the machines to steal it all back again.
here in this little database, the scattered people slowly coalesce,
intermittently sparkling cloud linked by shared struggles, enabled for
listening, enabled for telling.
with a word they link arms across vast
see how they shine.